Take the Teen Money Challenge !

Parents, are you looking for a way to teach your teen how to manage money?
Read On . . . 
Teen: “Can I have $20?”
Mom: “Honey, I gave you $20 just two days ago.”
Teen: “But, this, that, and the other thing” excuse.
Mom: “But what about that part-time job?
Mom (thinking to herself): I’ve got to get a handle on teaching him/her spending control and fast.

This conversation, with slight modifications, can be heard in households with teens everywhere.

And "this, that, and the other thing expenses" are coming. . .

How can you use this to your advantage? (be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a mock-agreement you can adapt)

Do The Parent Mental Money Flip and Take The Challenge

Actually, spending can bring opportunity.  Perhaps they have a job. Perhaps they have an allowance for doing things around the house. Perhaps none of these applies and you have them do things around the house but choose to give them spending money as needed.

Regardless of how you handle money with your teen, you have a great opening to get money management skills introduced to your teen.

Just do a mental money flip on your parent approach.

The Quick-Step Parent-Teen Money Plan

Step 1:          Determine any “outside” money source your teen has.
Question 1:  What is that money supposed to cover?
Step 2:           Determine any money that you normally give your teen through allowance?
Question 2:  What is that money supposed to cover?     
Step 3:           What items do you/parent naturally pay for on their behalf that can be separated
                        out from your normal parent budget – such as clothing, gas, entertainment, etc.
Question 3:  What money do you spend on your teen that can be safely “shifted” to them?
Step 4:           Draw up a simple agreement that covers the above.  Give them an opportunity
                       to manage their money.  Include an incentive for success.

Basically, that’s it.  Just outline what you (and your teen) expect out of the money that can flow through their hands.  You might be thinking that Step 3 is the only step that you need to include, but if you and your teen don’t come to terms with what the money is to cover that they currently earn for themselves, then Step 3 where you give them money to cover items that you normally would spend on their behalf can become a challenge. They might shift their own money to something else, and then expect your Step 3 money to cover what is supposed to be covered by their own “outside/earned” money.   Defining all 3 income possibilities and what each is to cover, might save confusion potential “discussions” down the spending road.

Note:  To get your teen's buy-in, be sure to include them in the crafting of this plan.  

Your agreement could look something like this:

Money Plan

We know you are ready to handle more money responsibility!  Let’s define how it can work for this ___________.  (summer, Fall, or . . . ) 
Your part-time job money is approximately $_______ per (month, week, by the job)
It is to cover:
Your allowance is $________ per (month, week)
It is to cover:
Normally, as parents, we have paid on your behalf for the items below.  We feel that you are ready to handle paying for them yourself. 

             $______ per week/month for entertainment 

             $______ per week/month for clothing

             $______ per week/month for ________________ 

Bonus!  We love you and are hoping this goes well so that we can extend further privileges next _________ (week/month)!   If however, we see concerns in your handling of the money, we will have to modify or cancel this plan as necessary.
(optional but encouraged - - - have all parties sign this to solidify the importance of the plan)

Of course, your money plan can be constructed with all the nuances and changes you’d like.  But, wow, what an opportunity you have. 

Give us a shout and let us know how it goes.  We know that the seasons and time you have with your precious teen grow short, and ways to teach them get a bit more challenging. 

We love this method because it blends in gradually (money management) and the appealing nature of giving them more financial responsibility and freedom, with what will happen when they fly the coop after high school graduation and have to carry the whole financial enchilada.

Have a GREAT week and 

                  YES, You CAN Have Success in the Middle of it ALL

Pam and Holly

Extra Teaching Ideas:
What are some of those bigger nuggets to teach your child before they fly? Here are 8 we feel are important.  

Who Is JellyGeneration?

Pam Hardison, MBA, BBA in Finance and Business Education, has created and co-owned a national mail order catalog which at one point was the 21st fastest growing customerbase in the nation.  As a mom of two college-post college daughters, considers it a privilege and to meet other students and parents along the same road.   After teaching high school and college students for years, her commitment to helping them with topics most schools can't cover is the light that drives her.  

Holly Powers, Attorney-At-Law (Jameson & Powers, P.C.) has been actively practicing law since 1985 and is a shareholder with the law firm of Jameson & Powers, P.C.  The firm specializes in transactional law, health care law, and general business law.  Holly has taught students precepts concerning the legal world for over 10 years.  With 4 children, she understands what teens need to know and has a passion to help others faced with teens and aging parents.  


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